Hey Toro, Heavenly Sky Bull Taurus. What’s the story behind the sign, and what does it mean in reality?

Taurus

Common Associations

  • Dates: April 21-May 21. The cusp is April 19/20
  • Element: Fixed earth (mid spring) Quality: Feminine.
  • Ruling planet: Venus
  • Body: neck, throat, tonsils
  • Birthstone: Emerald
  • Metal: copper
  • Flower: the Daisy; innocence, sanctity
  • Tree: the Apple Tree; youth, beauty, happiness, immortality. Avalon, the resting place of King Arthur was the ‘Isle of Apples’
  • Colours: pastel blue, green, pink, lemon yellow
  • Famous for: physical strength/ stamina, stubbornness, caution, practicality, honesty, money sense, oratory/ demagogy, sensuality, gourmet/gourmand, pleasant speaking voice, singing/design/other artistic ability, green fingers
  • Professions: Politics, Banking, (also think Bull markets) Agriculture, Construction, Arts, Publishing, Musician, Entertainment, Beauty, Fashion, Restaurants
  • Tarot cards: The Hierophant- Tradition, Orthodoxy, Received wisdom, Academia, Medicine, a teacher or mentor.
  • Minor Arcana cards: the Five, Six and Seven of Pentacles/Coins/Disks.

Astronomy

Wiki

Taurus (Latin for Bull) is a large and prominent constellation between Aries to the west and Gemini to the east. It ranks 17th in size of the 48 Greek constellations recorded by Ptolemy in his introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens, the Almagest, written AD 150.

The stars of Taurus depict the face, horns and forepart of the bull’s body. His face is made up of a triangular cluster of stars called The Hyades. There are no legs, the Bull is imagined half submerged. He is the mythical Bull from the Sea.  A second cluster of stars, The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters, swarm like bees above his back.

The best time to see Taurus is during December and January. By March and April, you might see it in the west in the   twilight.

To find Taurus first you need to find the three stars of Orion’s belt, happily, one of the easiest things to see on a clear winter’s night.

Now look up to the right, looking north-east, See a bright orange-red star? That’s Aldebaran, ‘The Follower,’ a red giant, the biggest, brightest star in the constellation, the Eye of the Bull, glaring in the direction of Orion.

Should the Bull escape his heavenly pen, said an ancient Arabic legend, he would stampede the universe to pieces, and it would be the end of things for all time. We had better hope hope nothing upsets him up there in the celestial meadows. Let’s hope he’s got plenty of buttercups and clover up there to keep him happy, and he doesn’t get bitten by horseflies.

A truly freaky factoid ….” in about two million years, the NASA space probe Pioneer 10, now heading out into deep space, will pass Aldebaran.” SOURCE

If that isn’t enough to make one need a quiet lie-down with a cold flannel on one’s head, I don’t know what is.

Wiki Commons: the horns, face and the giant red star, Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull, glaring menacingly in the direction of Orion the Hunter  

Ancient History

Carving of a Bison, France, thought to be 15000-20000 years old

I am suspicious of that bison. It looks as though it has a ring in its nose.

Taurus has been recognized as a sky bull since at least the Early Bronze Age. Historians think the figure of a bull was first discerned in the stars by the Sumerians around 3000 BC, and was recorded in cuneiform by the Babylonians.

In modern Western (Tropical) astrology Aries The Ram is counted the first sign of the western zodiac, ushering in the spring (vernal) equinox along with the first lambs.

But 4000 years ago it was Taurus, not Aries that coincided with the vernal equinox. The reason this is no longer the case is due to the wobble of the Earth and an effect called the precession of the equinoxes.

Taurus overhead marked the start of the calving season. and for Babylonian astronomers Taurus was the first sign of the Zodiac, ‘the Bull in front,’- leading from the front. The Bull was also the first sign for the early Hebrews, who called it Aleph, as in A, the first letter of the alphabet.

The bull, like its ancestor, the wild auroch, is a potent symbol of strength and fertility, especially masculine virility, but where Leo the lion, represents wild strength, Taurus the bull is domesticated, controlled strength, as harnessed in oxen or a bull with a ring through his nose.

The dairy bulls, breeds such as the Charolais for instance, are famously aggressive where the black bulls used in bull-fighting are by comparison, more easygoing.

Before agriculture, we hunted beef in the shape of the auroch. Aurochs, the fiercer, wild ancestors of the modern bull, were painted in the Lascaux caves in France, in paintings thought to date from 15000 BC.

The most famous section of the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne in France is the Hall of the Bulls, featuring four black bulls, or aurochs.  One of the bulls is 5.2 metres (17 ft) long, the largest animal discovered so far in cave art.

This was the time of year of the great migrations of the aurochs; a dangerous but potentially highly rewarding hunting opportunity. Not only did the aurochs provide the luxury of meat, but the horns and hide had many uses.

bull-in-lascaux-cave.jpg
Lascaux

In the UK it is thought that Salisbury plain was a Lek -a mating ground of the auroch, and this is part of the story behind the building of Stonehenge on this site. They massed here, protected from the ambush of the sabre- toothed tiger by its huge wide open views.

Then hunting gave way to farming of animals, guaranteeing supplies with less risk attached. The first ever cattle, goats, sheep, and pig- farming began in the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent;’ a region covering eastern Turkey, Iraq, and south-western Iran about 12000 years ago.

Taurus glares at Orion The Hunter, but then we stopped being hunters and became farmers, and no-one works harder than a farmer, and many care deeply for their animals too, but where is his legend in the skies?

These farming practices spread westwards, and in time had a genetic effect on the human population, with the sudden appearance of a gene mutation that enabled humans to digest raw cow’s milk. It’s not known when this first occurred, but it probably first happened in colder Northern Europe, and today 35 % of the global human population can digest the milk sugar, lactose, as adults.

Click on this link for more on this subject.

Bull Leaping in Knossos

The Cults of the Bull

The bull was considered a divine animal throughout antiquity and was a symbol of the moon, fertility, rebirth, and royal power, while today, the Lithuanian word ‘taurus’ means ‘noble.’

There is evidence of bull cults throughout the Mediterranean starting in Anatolia, dating from at least 70000 BC. From the worship of the Apis bull in Egypt, to bull-leaping in Knossos and the sacrificial portrayal in Roman Mithraism, the bull has been an integral part of many diverse and important religious traditions.

The Egyptian goddess Hathor goddess of mothers, was the equivalent of the Greek Aphrodite (not Demeter) and had the ears and horns of a cow, the original Holy or Sacred Cow.

Demeter Vindemiatrix is Virgo, but Aphrodite Venus is Taurus.

Greek legend associated Taurus with the legend of Zeus and Europa, in which the god Zeus, up to his sneaky tricks yet again, disguised himself as a beautiful, gentle white bull, coaxed the princess Europa into climbing on his back, then abducted her, swam away with her to Crete, and made her one of his mistresses. The many gifts Zeus gave Europa included a pet dog that later became the constellation Canis Major. Their children supposedly included Minos, King of Crete, the builder of the Labyrinth and the famous palace at Knossos where the bull games were held.

Bull worship, or rather, the concept of the bull as divine gradually migrated ever westwards and northwards. The Celtic druids held Tauric festivals at least 2000 years ago, and there is archaeological evidence of bull worship near Newcastle and York in the UK.

The Buddha was born when the Full Moon was in Taurus (Vesak) and his birthday is celebrated at the Vesak Festival which occurs on the first Full Moon in Taurus.

That is a very Taurus face.

Photo by Chase Stine on Pexels.com

Beware of the Bull

Like the Bull himself, the classic Taurus subject, male or female, is generally peaceable, pleasant, even placid. But Taurus will not be disrespected, pushed or driven. Other people can get a shock when Taurus suddenly sees red …they seemed so laid back before ….and they don’t give a lot of warning.  The mistake of the other person was in underestimating them, mistaking their good nature for weakness or stupidity once too often.

Bulls cannot physically see red. It is the movement of the toreador’s cape that provokes them, and not the colour. But when the human bull ‘sees’ red, they  will either dig in hard, or may charge head on. Taurus in a full-on rage is a ‘bull in a china shop’ – the one Earth sign that will withstand or demolish the opposition of  the other more famous ‘fighting’ signs, Aries, Leo, and even Scorpio, its opposite number in the zodiac.

Taurus really, really doesn’t like to fight but won’t be pushed, and doesn’t lose in a fair fight. The bull ring is not a fair fight; nor is the abattoir, that’s the tragedy of the Bull, to be brought low by his physical inferiors.

But if a Taurus is being a naughty bull; unreasonable, misbehaving, or being a ‘bully’ then quietly stand your ground.  It should pass. Taurus may sulk but as a rule is not vindictive.

But why upset the Bull? Look at him, quietly grazing. He’s really not looking for trouble.

Taurus_bull_Latino.jpg

Uranus in Taurus, March 2019-July 2025

The futurist planet Uranus‘The Great Awakener’- is currently in Taurus and has been there since March 2019 .

And there it will stay, sometimes direct, sometimes retrograde until April 2026.

2021 is less tough than 2021 in some ways, and Jupiter is going to lighten and ease things here and there. But it’s still tough. On a global scale this pandemic seems likely to continue into the early months of 2022 but with more, longer easing off periods in-between.

The last time Uranus was in Taurus was 1934 to 1941. Uranus was in Aries when the stock market crashed in 1929, but the aftermath of this event was felt for years after, first the Great Depression then WW2 broke out in 1939. The UK government introduced food rationing January 1940 – remembering here that Taurus rules agriculture and food production.

This transit saw a rise in women joining the workforce- a necessity with the men away at war—Taurus ruled by Venus is a feminine sign. My grandmother left her job in schools, where she taught biology, and worked in a factory by day and with the ambulance service by night. My mother, born in 1939, was largely cared for by her grandmother while her mother was out working. She barely saw her mother, and far less of her father until she was six and he returned home from naval service at the end of the war, to his civilian job as a museum curator. He was a naturalist, an ornithologist, and a Taurus subject, though not what you’d call a people person. Still, he knew a lot, did a lot, created new exhibitions and new educational opportunities for school children, and this was The Taurean Hierophant at work, sure enough.

A story of the war/post-war generation, but why mention it? Uranus in Taurus is the reason why, a transit in common. This was a point in history with profoundly far reaching consequences. Such patterns of history do not necessarily repeat, or not in the same ways. Uranus in Taurus is not sinister. None of this is to suggest there will be another world war, unless it’s a trade war.

We are not seeing food shortages. But we are being asked to ‘ration’ or do without many things we are used to, or have come to expect as our natural rights. For some this might mean things like overseas holidays, but right now all the signs are– no need for any psychic to say this- that stay-cations are still the safest booking options this summer.

Uranus in Taurus, as we have seen historically, may bring big social changes between now and April 2026, and these may include changes for the better; more sustainable practices in economics, trade and agriculture. The fast food industry, for instance, is relatively new and recent but has with remarkable speed become an everyday way of eating for many people, especially young people who don’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. But Uranus in Taurus suggests the enormous fast food industry is likely to prove non-sustainable maintained on anything like its current scale. The Hierophant = Taurus =Bull = money + meat (think beef-burger)

There is no cause for alarm based on Uranus in Taurus, but there are collective changes, challenges, discomfort and upheaval because Taurus (The Hierophant) is about material basics and creature comforts while Uranus (planet of rebellion) upsets apple carts.

My cards suggest we will somehow avoid a second Great Depression, post-pandemic. But it’s a futurist symbol, Uranus, and signifies new technology as a means of solving problems, and this may bring added social unrest, as with the Luddites, textile workers, followers of a mysterious character called Ned Ludd during the English Industrial revolution.

These men risked, and indeed some suffered, hanging or transportation, smashing the machines that threatened to take away not only their jobs, but actually, their whole way of life. New ways that forced them and their children into a harsh new environment outside the home. That put them on a clock, that cared nothing for their humanity, for their pride, skill, and need to see, or at least share in the story of a job seen through from start to finish. That cared nothing at the start, for their comfort or well-being, or even for their safety. The ‘dark satanic mills’. There are graves of the orphans who worked in them, in towns in West Yorkshire. People laugh at them nowadays, the Luddites, ha ha ha, wretched technophobes, but is it wise to laugh?

Taurus is an artisan.

Facing tempests of dust

I’ll fight on till the end

Creatures of my dreams, raise up and dance with me

Now and forever, I’m your king

Outro, Cloud Atlas

A Bull dreams of a meadow. Such is the nature of a bull. No heaven more perfect.

Pandemics run their course, adding their coda to the make-up of the human immune system. ‘Hope springs eternal’, and for many, the Tarot sees new opportunities and good times in the high spring of May. But nature will have its way, in its cruelty and its kindness.

Other months are as beautiful, but what month is more beautiful than May?

“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.”
– 
Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1

“Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.” –  Roy Rolfe Gilson, American author, 1875-1933

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Spring Equinox and the fiery Sky Ram, Aries

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here comes spring in the northern hemisphere. The spring of vernal equinox officially occurred today, 20 March 2022. Today we enter the turf of Aries the Ram, marking the beginning of the new astrological year in Western (Tropical) astrology.

Common Associations

Symbol:

Date of Birth: variable 21 March to 20 April

Ruling planet: Mars

Lucky Day:    Tuesday

 Energy: Yang (Masculine/Extrovert)

Element:  Fire

Quality: Cardinal (the start of the season of spring)

Key phrase:  I am

Body:  Head, neck

Birth Stone:  Topaz, Aquamarine, Diamond

Colour:  Red

Herbs/Flowers: Honeysuckle, tulip, thistle, bryony, peppermint, tiger lily, geranium, hops, impatiens, onions, hollyhock, thorn-bearing trees/shrubs, some firs

Major Arcana Tarot Card: Major Arcana: The Emperor (Masculinity, Fatherhood, Government, Law and Order, Courage, Stability)

Image from The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, illustrator Ciro Marchetti

From The Legacy of the Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Tarot court card correlating with Aries is the Queen of Wands. Note the sunflowers and royal lions on her throne, and the black cat, considered lucky. The Queen of Wands is a warm, kindly but shrewd, capable and insightful figure.


The Minor arcana cards associated the cardinal sign Aries are the 2, 3 and 4 of Wands.

The 2 of Wands, ambition, global trade, agreements, career choices, direction, partnerships.

The 3 of Wands, making ready to launch a ‘ship’, or a ship comes in, trade, export, new horizons, exploration, but the timing and the planning has to be right. No rushing this. No cutting corners.

The 4 of Wands: a house becomes a home, a business puts down solid foundations, professional achievements, qualifications.

Astronomy

Aries is a small, rather dim constellation in the Northern Hemisphere between Pisces to its west and Taurus to its east.Imagine the Ram sitting with his head pointing downwards.

The constellation of Aries via Wiki

The brightest star in Aries is Alpha Arietis, or Hamal, from the Arabic Al Ras al Hamal, ‘the Head of the Sheep.’ Hamal is the third star up from the bottom, a red giant with a magnitude of 2.0, and is visible to the naked eye, shining about as brightly as Mars when the planet is at its farthest point from Earth.

Below Hamal, the two bottom stars in the photograph are the stars Beta Arietis, also called Sheratan, a blue-white star, and Gamma Arietis, also called Mesarthim, a whitish binary star with two components. These are the horns of the Ram, and their names mean the Two Signs, meaning these ‘horns’ were seen as the two first signs of spring.

The best time to see Aries.

Aries Profile Image on http://www.underthenightsky.com

The three stars of the Head of the Ram are the stars to look out for, especially December around 9 p.m. local time, seen rising in the east.  December is an especially good month for viewing Aries, when the Earth is on the other side of the sun .

During spring in the Northern Hemisphere or autumn in the Southern Hemisphere autumn is the worst time of year; Aries is lost in the glare of the sun. In late October, Aries rises in the east at sunset, reaches its highest point in the sky at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise.

Aries reaches its highest point in the sky – at about 10 p.m. local time (the time in all time zones) in late November, 8 p.m. local time in late December and 6 p.m. local time in late January.

History and Mythology

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

The spring equinox was a time of renewal throughout the northern half of Earth, an event of great significance to people who were much more aware than we are nowadays, of the direct human dependence for survival on the earth and its produce, land, weather and sky.

Aries marked the main lambing season of wild sheep in Europe, 21 March – 20 April. The lambing season extended with agricultural husbandry.

The Sumerians

Sumeria is one of the oldest known urban civilizations in what is now called Southern Iraq, during the Neolithic-Bronze Age, 4500 BC to 1500 years BC. The ancient Sumerians called the sun, Subat, meaning the Ancient Sheep or Ram and the planets were the Celestial Herd.

The Egyptians

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, the constellation known to us as Aries was called ‘Lord of the Head’, referring to its symbolic significance, and it was associated with the sun god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the astronomical location of the spring (vernal) equinox, it was called the ‘Indicator of the Reborn Sun’. Sources suggest the position of Aries at the zenith coincided with the rising of Sirius in the east and flooding of the Nile.

The Greeks

To the Sumerians, the stars of Aries were a herdsman. Aries was not fully recognized as a constellation until classical times when the ancient Greeks from about 1580 B.C. to 360 B.C. oriented the construction of many of their sacred temples to line them up with the star Hamal.

In Hellenistic astrology, the constellation of Aries was associated with the golden ram of Greek mythology that rescued Phrixus and Helle.

The brother and sister, Phrixus and Helle were the children of the Boeotian king Athamas and the cloud fairy, Nephele.  But Nephele died, the king remarried, and his new wife, Ino, feared and hated them as a perceived threat to her own two children by the king, and planned to have them done away with.

They were warned and fled, rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Hermes at the plea of the dead Nephele, watching in anguish from the other world, but poor Helle fell into the sea below and was lost in the Dardanelles, named the Hellespont in her honour. Later, safely in Colchis, Phrixus (rather ungratefully?) sacrificed the Golden Ram, as a way of returning it home to the gods, and presented its fleece as a gift to King Aeetes, who placed it on a tree in a grove under the guard of a terrible dragon, the hideous Hydra, whom Jason later killed in order to steal the magical healing fleece.

Christianity

Founded in a society and at a latitude where ‘shepherds watched their flocks by night’…with a clear view of the night skies much of the year round, Aries speaks of God as The Shepherd, and Jesus as The Lamb of God.

Astrological Profile

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

Astrology deals in terms of archetypes, meaning a very typical example of a particular thing, person or situation. Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aries personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but it is not your full astrological portrait. We are all unique and it could never be the whole story.

But the archetypes did not come into being for no reason. You don’t mess lightly with The Ram. Aries is number one, the first sign in the Zodiac year, youthful and exuberant. But it is also the sign of a king, and not only that, but a warrior-king, as illustrated in the watchful, slightly weary, Emperor card in the Rider-Waite Tarot, ready armoured, always on guard. Note the Ram’s heads decorating his throne.

Aries is ultra-virile, with a warrior spirit, just as a ram will charge headlong at an intruder, and may even kill a person who enters his field, threatening his ewes and his territory at the wrong moment.

Aries is known for its determination and zest for life, and in the same spirit, Aries can be reckless and with it, accident prone in its general haste to get on and do whatever is the next thing. Aries are at a statistically increased risk of  road accidents, in particular with head and neck injuries in comparison with other zodiac signs, and must beware of impatience leading to risk-taking behaviours.

Aries is ready to experiment or pioneer but may not finish what it starts. They are determined but run on a short fuse, and can be sabotaged by their own impatience if they don’t get quick results.

Aries subjects may exhibit  careless or even ruthless behaviour with a disregard for others in their desire to achieve and excel. They can bear grudges but, though sensitive themselves, and occasionally a touch too quick to take offense, they are prone to be careless about the sensitivities of others.

However, in their personal relationships Aries are lively, affectionate, pleasant, frank, direct and generous. Full of bounce and joie de vivre, there is much to like and admire about the early springtime subjects of fiery Aries, the Mighty Ram.

Famous Aries in history

The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. Oh wow. Now there is a surprise. I mean, look at him for goodness sake…..

More famous Aries natives HERE

Below, a video via National Geographic explaining the equinoxes.

Till next time 🙂

The Tarot, the Magician and a story of Odin

From The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Tarot card of Wednesday or Wodens/Odins Day is The Magician, Major Arcana 1.

The Magician’s ruler is the planet Mercury, symbolic of communications, diplomacy, travel trade and commerce like Hermes, the Greek Messenger of the Gods.

The Magician can be slippery in the extreme. His other face is The Trickster, his shadow is Loki. If the card is drawn upside down, be careful what you are doing here. Watch this one.

He signifies self-command. ‘Me, Myself, I.’

The elder Norse rune associated with Odin and The Magician, is ANSUZ meaning wise counsel – ‘one of the Aesir’. It is from this same language root we derive the modern word ANSWER. It is the rune of teachers, counsellors, writers, actors, broadcasters and other public speakers. In magical work, you would use this talisman as an aid for exams, interviews, vivas, auditions,public speaking and so on. Draw it, say its name, keep it on a piece of paper nearby or on your person.

From Wikipedia

At one with the elements, he is The Mage. Mastery of skill. Timing. This is an excellent card if one is job hunting, starting a new venture, or hoping to meet someone new romantically. Generally male in readings but a female may embody the Magician. Anyone who is operating at the top of their game is The Magician.

He is agile, like Gemini, endlessly curious and inquiring, restless, potentially ruthless in the pursuit of his aims. But unlike The Emperor, who must engage with organisation, this is ultimately a cat who walks alone, or is ready to at any time.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Out-Walker

He stood in outline, stark against the sky, a shadow shape, and where he appeared, the ravens followed; always two of them, wheeling above him or perching on his shoulders, and people whispered they could only be Huginn and Muninn, twin pets and scouts of Odin the All-Father, Grimnir of the One Eye, the other traded with Mimir, the wisest of the Aesir, in exchange for the knowledge of All Things.

Photo by Vijay Bhaskar on Pexels.com



But what did Odin want?

What could any living person offer Odin that he hadn’t long ago surrendered by his own choice in exchange for that knowledge, hanging nine days and nights on the great Ash tree, the world tree, Yggdrasil?

Only their bloody deaths in battle could please him, the songs said, and so the people thought, and the wives and mothers shuddered at these sightings.

They could not know he meant no war, he planned no war and he scented no spillage of blood. Not at this time. Not in this place. Everyone fell silent when the word passed. 

He has been here again.

Beneath the alder, Odin stood, cloaked against the east wind, breathing in the sights and sounds and smells, drawing them in deep, knowing himself an object of terror. But he could not stay away, craving company, thee warmth of their smoking hearth fires and their songs and stories, music; the smells of their cooking; roasting meats, smoked fishes, things savoured all the more by the mortal folk, heightened in their knowledge, that what was left of their lives could be reckoned in mere years, months, hours or even minutes.

The ravens were his pride and joy, his precious ones.

He craved the things he could not have; rough jests with other men, their goodfellowship. Even the fights, though he would always win, and he longed to lose, even just once, to know what it felt like, a knowledge denied him, that even Mimir could not trade. A stout infant to pull on his beard as it bounced on his knee, squealing to the beat of all the old rhymes. A snuffling dog to run with him after rabbits, or lie scratching its fleas or snore at his feet. A woman to laugh with, lie with, warm in bed, and she could even scold him- if she dared.

Valhalla was Valhalla, and the village, the village. Warriors sang of glory and Valhalla, their highest desire and greatest dread. They dreamed of immortality.

But when Odin grew weary of books and battle, of wayfaring, of roads and ships under wheeling stars, he dreamed of the alder on the rise, and wondered what it must be, to dream of a god. To have a god to call on.

He dreamed, and then he was there again.

KEH 2021

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Pisces the Heavenly Fishes, the seasons in the stars, the reasons in the signs

 

Chartres cathedral window, early 13 th century, photo by Vassil

Most of us know our zodiac sign but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? Let’s get better acquainted with Pisces.

Common associations

Symbol:

Zodiac Sign placement: 12th and last sign, completing the wheel of the zodiac year

Date of Birth: 18/19 Feb to 20/21 March. Variable cusp depending on the leap year cycle

Ruling planet: Neptune (before Neptune’s official discovery in 1846 it was Jupiter)

Element: Water

Quality: Mutable – versatile, the ending of one season and the beginning of another

Lucky Days: Monday and Thursday

Energy: Yin -receptive

Key phrase: I believe (as in the ‘Fishers of men’, early Christianity adopted a fish as its symbol)

Body: Feet, eyes, bladder

Birth Stone:  Aquamarine especially, but also amethyst, ruby, bloodstone and jasper. Brazil is one of the best sources for this stone. Aquamarine (meaning ‘the water of the sea’) is a blue variety of beryl where Emerald is a green beryl. The aquamarine is a hexagonal crystal structure, sometimes confused with blue topaz, and was traditionally believed to enhance foresight and clairvoyance, and a sense of happiness, with the power to repel evil – or help you talk to the Devil (I wouldn’t give the bugger the time of day, personally)

Aquamarine-Wiki

Tarot card: The Moon

Meanings: The Moon, literally, Mondays, tides, cycles, ebb and flow, feminine cycles, fertility, instinct, wildlife, walking on the wild side, hunting, fishing, visionary capabilities, psychics, ghosts, visions, dreams, delusions, madness, contamination, fever, food poisoning, uncertainty, danger, confusions with documentation, risks in travel.

The Gilded Tarot Royale, artist Ciro Marchetti

Note the wolves, hunting and howling by the light of the full moon, and the spawning crab, though this is often depicted as a crayfish instead, as in the Rider -Waite decks.

The minor arcana cards associated with Pisces are the 8, 9 and 10 Cups, ranging in interpretation from the melancholy to the sublime.

The 8 of Cups says you were ready to offer devotion. A door stayed shut, but you have learned something of value, not least about where you belong. Do not wait overlong outside any door that fails to open. The world is wide, new horizons beckon. Walk away, not looking back in anger.

The 9 of Cups is truth, grace, happiness-the Grail, and heart-felt wishes may be granted

The 10 of Cups is home sweet home, arrival.

The Astronomy

There are 88 constellations registered with NASA. The 12 that have constellations given their names to the zodiac signs in Western or Tropical astrology have their earliest known origins in the ancient Indo-European civilizations located at the latitude 36 degrees north and 30 minutes. Other constellations were named later, many of these later ones by Greek navigators.

Pisces, the Latin plural of fish is a large but rather faint constellation, the 14th largest constellation overall, covering a large V shaped region in the part of the sky known as The Sea or The Water, possibly named by the Mesopotamians because they had learned to associate the appearance overhead of these heavenly bodies with their rainy seasons; Aquarius, Capricornus (the Mer-Goat).

Capricorn signifies the ibex and its mating season which starts in December, but it also has an ancient Sumerian origin story associated with it, where the goats came out of the sea to climb to the mountains, leaving behind the father of all the goats, a solitary mer-goat who was promoted to the skies.

So these three zodiac signs, Capricorn Aquarius and Pisces may have come to represent predictive seasonal co-ordinates for the rainy months at the thirty sixth Parallel, 36 and half degrees north.

The vernal equinox currently occurs during Pisces, 19-21 March, the astronomical marker of the start of spring.

Pisces is represented as two fish swimming at right angles to each other, one to the north and one to the west and attached by a cord and are usually depicted as koi.

Its stars are faint — none brighter than fourth magnitude — and hard to see with the naked eye. But its brightest star, Eta Piscium, also known as Alpherg or Kullat Nunu, is a bright giant star (G class) 294 light-years from Earth and has a luminosity 316 times greater that of the sun.

Kullat Nunu is its Babylonian name. ‘Nunu’ means ‘fish’ and ‘kullat’ is a bucket.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pisces second brightest star is a yellow giant about 130 light-years from Earth, Gamma Piscium. Alpha Piscium is the third brightest star in Pisces, and is made up of a pair of white dwarf stars in close proximity. Its other name is Alrescha (“the cord.”) and marks the spot where it appears that the tails of the two fish are joined or tied together.

The best time to see Pisces in the Northern Hemisphere is 9 PM between 6-9 November looking below the Square of Pegasus.

History and Mythology

The first spawning of most freshwater fish starts in the spring, from late March onward, but, depending on latitude and therefore temperature, some species may spawn from as soon as late February onward, and in the warmer Indus, this surely played its part in the rationale for the astronomical calendar slot historically allocated to Pisces the heavenly fish.

Pisces represents the principle of THE THAW, THE MELT. Fish may rise again to the top to feed. Frogs and Toads will spawn.

If you want to insult a Pisces subject, call them a MELT (but first, ask yourself if you are really sure about this.)

The fish of Pisces are attached by a cord of stars, just as life and death are conjoined and cannot be separated. Pisces is not only the last sign of winter, moving into spring; it is the last sign of the whole zodiac year, the culmination of all the signs that came before it.

The western signs of the zodiac are thought to origin from about 2900-2700 BC, emerging among the peoples living at 36 and a half degrees latitude. The 36th Parallel.

Click here to see the regions involved.

This latitude was the cradle of Indo-European civilization (you will also see that the 36 Parallel was of key symbolic significance to the American Civil War) Younger, later constellations that were not adopted as zodiac signs were often named for maritime navigational purposes, many of them by the Greeks.

The Egyptians

“It (Pisces) is one of the earliest zodiac signs on record, with the two fish appearing as far back as c. 2300  BC on an Egyptian coffin lid ” -(Wiki)

The two fish of the constellation Pisces were the offspring of the Great Fish. In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis and she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as a star constellation.

India

In Hindu mythology Matsya is an manifestation or avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu the Preserver who rescued the first man, Manu from a great deluge. (…and here we are again, back to the great flood stories of Aquarius) The Matsya may be depicted as a giant golden fish or as a merman, half- fish half humanoid Lord Vishnu.

Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu holy trinity (Trimurti) This triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world, Brahma was the Maker,god of creation and passion, Vishnu, the face of light and preservation, and Shiva, the face of the dark, and destruction.

Wiki

Greece

Pisces is often represented as a pair of koi carp. and the reason for this comes from Greek mythology. To the ancient Greeks, the fish were the goddess Aphrodite and her son, Eros, who were out walking by the Euphrates one day when a terrible monster, Typhon, suddenly rose up out of the water.

This monster had been terrorizing the gods of Olympus ever since the war with the Titans. Typhon was a Titan, a son of Gaia, and he hated the gods of Olympus as invaders and upstarts, the new kids of the block who had overthrown and dispossessed his own, more ancient race of Titans. He was as tall as the heavens and his eyes shot flames. Instead of fingers, he had 100 dragon’s heads sprouting from his hands -for which one could read ‘flames’ or magma.

None of the Olympians had the power to destroy Typhon, or confront him, not alone. For a time, all they could do was avoid him or flee for their lives, which they often did by transforming themselves into animals, and Aphrodite and Eros, in this case, transformed themselves into two fish (koi) and swam away.

The work of John Flamsteed the first Astronomer Royal. Image from the Atlas Coelestis, posthumously published by John Flamsteed, 1729, illustrator John Thornhill.

Ultimately, Zeus imprisoned the terrible Typhon beneath Mount Etna…but Zeus didn’t deal with him for good. He couldn’t, not even Zeus, and Typhon is still very alive down there and pretty disgruntled. A deeply alarming spectacle, as we have seen on the news these last few days, as of 16 February 2021 and there have been a number of related astrological and psychic prognostications, talking about such seismic activity as a potentially major global influence in 2021.

Rome and Early Christianity

Early Christians used the Fish as a symbol of their faith…and called the TWELVE apostles of Christ the Fishers of Men (Pisces as the twelfth sign.

The secret code name for Jesus- Yeshua Ben Joseph- was Ichthys

The so- called Age of Pisces began 1 AD and- depending on your source, will end in 2150 when we enter the so-called Age of Aquarius, though some astrologers say we are already in that Age. The Age of Pisces saw the rise of the Monotheistic religions, Christianity and Islam. The Age of Aquarius is supposedly a secular age, all about technology and collectivism.

Read more about the astrological ages HERE

But religion shows no sign of going away. Islam is currently on the rise in the west, Christianity on the wane, with vacuums filled by socio-political ideological transmutations of the religious instinct, and in another two thousand or so years, it will be succeeded by another ‘earthy’ chapter – a new Age of Capricorn. (This thing works ‘retrograde’, working backwards through the zodiac signs)

The Astrological Personality

From The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black

In Tarot, whether the subject is male of female, Pisces is embodied as The Knight of Cups. In Arthurian legend this would be Sir Percival or in later versions of the legend, Sir Galahad. This knight is a champion of the underdog, a protector, a lover, a bearer of grace and the healing chalice.

In a Tarot reading this generally translates as a happy situation, a new friend, an admirer, possibly a marriage proposal, news of a baby on the way, or a job offer or other good news is coming soon, and your cup ‘runneth over’.

Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Pisces personality and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not, and never could be the whole story, least of all in astrology. There is far more than just the sun sign in your own personal chart. You can find this out for yourself by looking up your own chart free online (obviously just be careful re spam etc).

Pisces combines imagination with the determination of a salmon fighting upriver, although, depending on the decanate, there may a certain quite marked passivity, even inertia. This may actually serve them very well at times, but could in some cases degenerate into darkness involving depression, alcohol or other substance misuse.

These individuals are talented natural artists, writers or musicians. They are famously loyal once committed, compassionate and sensitive. They adapt with ease, are spontaneous and full of surprises, but while their steel may be hidden, all the same, it is there. Not much is said about this scaly Pisces steel. They can be tough, even hard in a quiet way. They may not say much but watch the face harden, and cross the line once too often, you are gone, and that is it.

Where they demonstrate a lack of proper consideration for others, or undue stubbornness, it is not due to lack of goodwill, but they are not paying attention, too focused on their inner preoccupations.

Photo by Laura Porter on Pexels.com

Pisces needs variety, and structure must allow them room for a degree of autonomy. Desk based work, although Pisces can certainly do it, is not really their thing.

Pisces can make excellent and approachable team leaders with a reputation for loyalty to their staff. Passing the buck is not their style. They will take on injustice, take on those senior in status, but Pisces, unlike, say Aquarius, acts on an individual basis. Group actions, campaigns or crusades do not sit with their temperament, except just possibly for early Pisces, born on the Aquarius cusp. Later subjects, born close to the Aries cusp 20/21 April, are very much the ‘doers’ of Pisces.

Pisces is as brave as it is kind but these water sign denizens need to guard their physical energy. It can be erratic, and once depleted, is not always easily restored. If they are prone to headaches at the back of the head, there may be related bladder infections or other issues.

The Decans of Pisces

Each zodiac sign contains three decans, blocks of ten days or so, each with a different planetary ruler.

Pisces Decan 1 February 19 to February 28 (approximately) is ruled by Neptune. Those born within this decan will present as typical Pisces. Seldom aggressive or offensive, they conduct themselves with kindness and courtesy and very reasonably expect the same in return. Neptune, planet of illusion, is both their ruler and sub-ruler, emphasizing their imaginative capabilities. Pisces-Pisces readily connects with other people on an unconscious level, almost as if hearing what they are thinking, and able to anticipate their next moves, but they are likely to take a lot of detours before finding their own sense of direction. Tarot card: The Eight of Cups

Pisces Decan 2 March 1 to March 10 (approximately) The sub-influences for this decan are Cancer/MOON. Cancer – natural ruler of the fourth house of home base, family, and security – may keep them very close to family members, whether this is a positive or negative influence. They often bear a striking physical resemblance to a parent and may struggle to loosen break parental ties and become independent, but they must, if they are to develop their own potential, and often they are warm, well- balanced emotionally, cultured, artistically gifted, with charm and a keen sense of humour, from the zany to the dark or possible ingenious. They need plenty of quiet time alone. Tarot card: The Nine of Cups

Pisces Decan 3 March 11-March 20. A thinker, possibly even a visionary, the very last decan of all in the wheel of the zodiac year is a FINISHER. They are energetic, symbolized by the Mars influence on Scorpio.Pisces-Scorpio has an intensely practical side and often well-developed technical or scientific skills. They need activities, outlets for their physical energy and it matters a lot to them helping other people. This decan is considered fated to an unusual degree, and one day a calling may come to them in the form of a great challenge. Tarot card: The Ten of Cups

Famous Pisces in history

Michelangelo, Amerigo Vespucci, Copernicus, Vivaldi, Handel, George Washington, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Albert Einstein, Nat King Cole, Elizabeth Taylor, Nina Simone, Harold Wilson, Yuri Gagarin, Sidney Poitier, Steve Irwin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

‘No man is an island’. Yes we are. Islands in archipelagos.

But there are boats.

Until next time 🙂

February Feeling

I am running late with this Tarot reading, done 24 January, looking ahead at February but with no particular question, just fishing in the ether.

I felt drawn to pull two cards for February, and drew The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed) and The Eight of Cups from the Rider-Waite Deck.

Noah’s Ark in shown here in reference to another recent reading which mentioned precipitation, and the risk of flooding in the UK during February. This is nothing unusual for February, though some years are worse than others. February starts with Aquarius and ends with Pisces, and the Babylonians called Aquarius ‘the curse of rain,’ -or in northern latitudes, rain or snow.

Il Matrimonio took this pic of the heron on a nearby pond, while Junior Sprog’s young fellow, Carpenter Henry, is in mourning for his beloved koi carp, which last week disappeared from the garden pond of their rental cottage, presumed dead, prey to their own hungry heron.

Back to the Tarot.

The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed)

From The Rider Waite Tarot

Keywords: Homeland, Family, Home, Money, Family Tree, Legacies, Continuity, Heritage, Family Business, Family Gatherings/Events/Celebrations, Businesses, Old Age

This card drawn reversed highlights particular challenges to do with these areas during the month of February 2021, from government level to an individual level.

The Ten of Pentacles is an earth suit card, to do with everything that we most need, value and treasure: security, belonging, homeland and the family home, money and inheritance, cultural heritage, wills, bequests and legacies of all kinds, financial, cultural, physical, and even genetic. So your middle name was given to you in memory of your great-grandfather? That’s the Ten of Pentacles. So, people say that you have your mother’s eyes? That’s the Ten of Pentacles.

It is the card of architecture, in every sense of the word, and the inter-generational relationships which make the bedrock of society.

In terms of planets and timings, the Ten of Pentacles correlates with the zodiac sign Virgo, and is ruled by Mercury, planet of communications, trade and travel, all of which continue to present a challenge during February 2021.

Late spring, late summer and late autumn look like the generally optimal months in 2021.

2020 was a dark year. 2021 does look brighter and better as Jupiter pulls away from Pluto, planet of the Underworld, but still, we all see there are major hurdles as the world’s governments struggle with a second wave of covid, and according to the Tarot, this may peak, or have passed its peak around 21 February in the UK.

This card of financial governance reflects the challenge of many Governments in raising or borrowing the finances to support their respective economies through this time of severely reduced economic activity. The Tarot has previously indicated to me that the global economy will recover perhaps surprisingly quickly, by or before early 2023. If only enough smaller businesses survive, not to have the giants ruling the roost any more than they do already.

History suggests global pandemics in general have been something of a once in a century phenomenon, and have tended to last between 1-3 years, and it is travel by ships, trains and planes which have carried them ever more swiftly around the world. Plane hopping = zero chance of eradication. And this is SARS, not flu.

Significantly, the Ten of Pentacles has been drawn reversed -upside- down – for February.

This puts the card in its less positive light, reflecting not only the extraordinary struggle of governments in so many countries, but at a personal and family level, the ongoing struggles of those small or family owned businesses, and the anxiety and frustrations of so many individuals and families unable to meet during lockdown measures.

This second wave has overtaken the first wave in terms of mortality. The UK second wave may possibly pass, or have recently passed peak mortality during February, after which, things will turn a corner again, and the new challenge is to keep that R rate down. I was unduly optimistic last year, and perhaps I am something of a glass half-full person and I need to watch that potential for bias. But right or wrong, the cards I get are the cards I get, no conscious control. That’s the entire point of this kind of exercise, and that’s the nature of this beast.

I was accurate in respect of timings in the UK, forecasting the end of the first wave and the release of that lock-down, but detected the risk of a significant second wave as roughly fifty- fifty or lower. Badly underestimated that one!

Good job I didn’t work for the Emperor Tiberius. He’d have had me chucked off the cliffs in Capri.

Astrology of The Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is ruled by Virgo, the Zodiac House of Health, which in turn is ruled by Mercury. This planet went retrograde 30 January and stays retrograde until 21 February, symbolically making this a time when misunderstandings may quickly arise, and making this a good time to rethink a few things, not only in respect of paying close attention to health and hygiene, but to be extra risk averse and vigilant in checking arrangements and information, for example, double- checking appointment times, important paperwork or travel plans, especially around 17 February when there may be an extra risk of (probably minor) mishaps.

Virgo is famously detail focused, very, and warns us not to relax our guard with things like distancing and frequent hand-washing, even though people may be, very naturally, fed up to the back teeth of hearing it.

Like that rock and roll classic by The Coasters, 1958

‘Yakety Yak.’

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back) – Source: LyricFind

But the Roman Goddess HYGEIA is associated with Virgo, so there we have it.

Hygeia says ‘Yakety yak!’

(Don’t talk back.)

Hygeia

We want to protect our elders, but neither do we want to leave them lonely, afraid and isolated. This is a challenge highlighted by the Ten of Pentacles but this card reminds us, old age has value. Even as they may need our help, our older people can help and support us too,. They are not to be patronized as charity cases. They have many things to share and to teach, things seen and learned in their lived experience. Things understood.

RIP Captain Tom.

The Eight of Cups

From The Ride-Waite Tarot

Keywords:  moral courage, emotional courage, walking away, sadness, acceptance, resignation, disappointment, decisions, and hard lessons learned.

This card is about saying goodbye, and walking away. It’s about the things we leave behind; the people, the places, the situations, maybe even hopes and dreams that no longer mean what they used to. Maybe we have lost interest.

Donald Trump has left The White House. The UK has left the EU. They will not return. It seems unlikely that Donald Trump will want to run again for President in four years time, even assuming that the option will exist, which looks increasingly unlikely. Britain has much hard work ahead, but is setting her face firmly to the future and will not rejoin the EU under a future UK government. The showing of teeth in the recent near debacle in respect of the Northern Ireland border only makes that possibility less likely.

Astrology of The Eight of Cups

In terms of astrology and timing, the Eight of Cups correlates with the first decan of the zodiac sign of Pisces, February 19 to March 20.

Pisces, previously ruled by Jupiter, is nowadays largely considered as ruled by psychic, dreamy planet Neptune, identified as a planet in 1846.

This card is suggesting a calmer, gentler closing to the month. For many, there will be intense, vivid dreams and perhaps powerful religious or even psychic experiences.

22 Feb Update: I had such an experience during the night 18 Feb. I woke and reached for the water beside the bed, saw a grey glow to my right, and turned and saw an vaguely human like apparition. It was looking at me and the face was not pleasant, though it faded almost at once. I got a bit of a scare and prepared myself for worrying news in the coming days. The ‘explanation’ came within 2 days, a close family member in distress.

Or paranoia. Oh yes. There is plenty of that about, blooming nicely.

The virus too, is fighting for its life, and it does not do negotation of timetables, but month by month we draw nearer to the inevitable end of this pandemic situation, and spring is nearly here. The snowdrops are long since out already.

The Ace of Cups (summer solstice) and the King of Wands signal a return to much greater normality by or before Leo –late July-late August. More about that in a minute.

I’m still keeping my own travel plans inside in the UK this year regardless of progress, on the principle of not making oneself a hostage to fortune- and there speaks my Virgo ascendant, yakety yak.

The Chinese (Lunar) New Year

12 February – 31 January, 2022

In Chinese and other Far Eastern Asian astrology traditions, the Lunar New Year 2021 brings the Year of the Metal Ox, also called the Gold Ox; a Yin quality sign, receptive and inward.

The powerful Ox is practical, productive, traditional, hardworking, dutiful and orderly, placid unless provoked too far. (And really, why would any sensible person want to provoke it?)

We think of Bull markets. The Stock Markets could do better than expected in February.

The Ox represents you and me, the so-called ordinary citizen, the family person, and the working public.

This Chinese zodiac Sign has a lot in common with the ideas embodied in the family-minded, industrious, traditional Ten of Pentacles.

You were born in the year of the Ox if you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009.

The Metal Ox and Health

The Metal Ox is especially associated with the lungs, which could be taken as a lucky sign, a good omen for the easing of this second wave of the pandemic by around 12 February.

The Ox says ‘small is beautiful’, and local is best for quality when it comes to fresh foods. The Ten of Pentacles suggests we support small, local family businesses and farmer’s cooperatives as much as possible during the lockdown, to preserve as many of these vital businesses as we can, who may otherwise be forced to shut up their shops and walk away, like the figure in the Eight of Cups.

The Ox is slow, but strong and surefooted.

Tweeted 19 January

#Tarot when will Cov Sars 2 be sufficiently under control for UK to ‘reopen.’ Issue: Strength card=benchmark. Winter now (Ace Coins) Struggle till after Pisces (late Feb/late March) Then 2 wave MAY have peaked & situation grad improves. King of Wands/Leo/July=Strength returns

From The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Sod’s Law says I am now erring on the side of caution, and it will happen far sooner, or begin to. And it almost certainly will, big style, from late March onward (that Piscean Eight of Cups)

The King of Wands is the king of 23 July-22 August. He is THE King of Speed, Movement, PR and Travel, ruled by big, buoyant planet Jupiter.

Take care and stay safe.

Till next time 🙂

Aquarius: Stories of Mankind, Rain and Flood, Space and Spirit

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Most of us know our zodiac or sun sign, but what does it look like in the night sky, and what’s the story behind it? This month it’s the turn of Aquarius again, the rain-maker of the Zodiac; the cloud bearer, and therefore an Air sign despite the ‘aqua’ in its name…

‘It never rains but it pours.’

As we enter Aquarius again in 2022, poised right on the cusp today, 19 January, I look back at the flooding that was on the news here in the UK in 2021; Storm Christophe.

I had mentioned this possibility among other things including the trouble that followed the US Presidential Inauguration, in a piece written for Ask Astrology 27 December 2020, though this was hardly any great psychic hit for this time of year, though some years are definitely worse than others.

Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, named after the constellation of Aquarius, recorded by the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy in the 2nd Century AD. 

Today, 19 January 2022, the greatest storms have been in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question Time. The PM could go, of course, but the signs are, he won’t yet awhile. For all the thunder and fury, this die is not cast. Why not? Bigger storms heading our way in 2022.

Common Associations

Dates: Vary but typically January 19February 18

ElementAir

Quality: Fixed (meaning a sign that corresponds with the height of a given season) Ruling planetsSaturn the Taskmaster (originally) AND Uranus the Eccentric Upheaver.

Body: The circulatory system, shins, and ankles.

Birthstone: Amethyst

Tarot Card: The Star (Hope, Vision, Recovery, Equilibrium, Bridging, Searching, Exploration, Technology, Space Exploration)

Minor Arcana cards: the 5, 6 and 7 of Swords.

From The Gilded tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The figure is unclothed because The Star (Truth) has nothing to hide.

Astronomy

From the Earth’s perspective, the Sun actually passes in front of the constellation of Aquarius from February 17th to March 11th, a month later than the dates associated with its zodiac sign.

However, zodiac constellations are not to be confused with zodiac signs. The dates did used to coincide, but Western (Tropical) astrology is a fixed arithmetic system dating back to more ancient calendar systems.

The dates of the zodiac signs and the constellations after which they were named have separated over time due to the ‘wobble’ of the Earth – an effect known as precession.

Astronomers who deride astrology on these grounds are not taking into account the basis and history of western (Tropical) astrology as a mathematical, not an astronomical model of the heavens.

Aquarius the Water-Carrier is one of the oldest identified constellations of the Zodiac (the area of the sky as seen from Earth through which the sun, moon and planets all pass, occasionally or regularly)

Aquarius is the tenth largest constellation, a big though faint constellation in the southern hemisphere, and its appearance is almost universally associated culturally and historically with sky, clouds, water and therefore rain.

Aquarius lies in the dark region of the sky called The Sea, containing other ‘watery’ constellations; Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), Cetus (the whale), Capricornus (the Sea-goat), Delphinus (the Dolphin), and Hydra (the Water serpent).

Via Wiki

Helped out here by those added lines, we see the pitcher, pouring out water.

The brightest stars in Aquarius are two yellow super-giants, several times more massive than the Sun; Alpha Aquarii (Sadalmelik) and Beta Aquarii (Sadalsuud) 537 light-years distant.

Sadalsuud is the brightest star in Aquarius, with a mass six times that of the Sun. It’s 2,200 times more luminous than the Sun and its name comes from the Arabic phrase sa’d al-suud, meaning the “luck of lucks.”

Other deep-sky objects include the Aquarius Dwarf Galaxy and the quirkily named Atoms for Peace Galaxy.

Aquarius also contains the Saturn Nebula and the Helix Nebula, the remnants of dying stars, and these are the closest planetary nebulae to Earth, 400 light-years away.

The Saturn Nebula
The Helix Nebula

(Talk about The Eye of Sauron)

Aquarius is home to at least 3 meteor showers. The Eta Aquariids, 5th and 6th of May, are the strongest with up to 35 meteors per hour coming from materials shed by Comet Halley as it travels through the solar system. The less active Delta Aquariids peak twice: on the 29th of July and again on the 6th of August. The weakest is the Iota Aquariids, peaking August 6th each year. 

The constellation of Aquarius is large but faint, complicated and not easy to spot, though it can be seen from almost anywhere on Earth. The best time to see is 9-10 PM in October but you will need a dark sky to pick it out.

History and Mythology

Throughout the whole of human history, arguably the number one danger to Man has been the threat of flood, knocking spots in terms of the sheer scale of threat off even the Biblical Horsemen of the Apocalypse; War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.

Aquarius overhead meant winter rain was coming to the lands of Mesop0tomia, and this meant the waters of life itself- aqua vitae -but it wasn’t all good news.

The water carrier, the cloud, can also be an agent of death, destruction, flood and disease, and the oldest flood stories underpinning the zodiac story of Aquarius arose in the Middle East. The story of Noah’s flood came much later.

For the Sumerians, Aquarius was a frightening figure. He held the vessel from which a great flood flowed from the heavens onto the earth to ravage the entire planet, while the Babylonians called Aquarius’ appearance in the night sky ‘the curse of rain’.

Aquarius to the Babylonians was the god Ea, or GU.LA , ‘The Great One’ in the Babylonian star catalogues, often shown holding an overflowing vase. During the Early Bronze Age, the appearance of Aquarius or the ‘Way of Ea’, corresponded to the period of 45 days on either side of winter solstice, when the Babylonians regularly experienced destructive levels of flooding.

In Ancient Egypt, their own version of Aquarius, the god Hapi, God of The Nile, was associated with the annual flood of the Nile when Hapi put his jar into the river, and this marked the beginning of spring, replenishing their farming soil. But their flooding season was June.

Greek mythology describes three floods, the flood of  Ogyges, the flood of Deucalion, and the flood of Dardanus. The Ogygian Deluge, they said ended the  Silver Age, and the flood of Deucalion ended the First Bronze Age, ‘parting the mountains of Thessaly’. 

The ancient Greeks naturally feared fire, and the ever present threat of earthquakes ‘convulsions’ and recorded events where fire and water they happened together (tsunamis, and we have of course, just witnessed the Tongan tsunami, 15 January following an undersea volcanic eruption, just days ahead of Aquarius.)

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

The Greeks said that Aquarius caused a great flood which inundated the Earth during the Bronze Age, of which only Deucalion, son of Prometheus and his wife Pyrrha survived by variously climbing in a chest and toughing it out, or building a great boat stocked with provisions, just as later in the Old Testament, Noah built his Ark.

Ancient Greeks avoided living near lakes and rivers, it’s thought, for hygiene reasons as well as protection from floods. There are apparently, impressive remains of hydraulic anti-flooding works; dams, walls, and channels in cities and other settlements in the Minoan era, and the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

Another very different Greek legend, associated Aquarius with the beautiful Trojan prince, Ganymede, carried off by that arch-sexual predator Zeus (Did Zeus ever give it a rest?) This time, he disguised himself as an eagle, and Ganymede, like it or not, became his lover and protégé, and the cup-bearer of the Gods.

Public Domain, Ganymede

The ‘Age of Aquarius’

Is it here? What does it mean? What might it portend? There has been a lot of discussion about this, and much excitement surrounding the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that occurred 21 December 2020.

The Age of Aquarius has become synonymous with a mythical new Golden age of Mankind, but when was it? Or when will it begin? There is no consensus and no definite answer.

In astrological terms, an age lasts roughly 2200 years and is identified by the name of the constellation in which the Sun appears in on the first day of spring (the vernal equinox). To know when the age of Aquarius begins, we would need to agree the start date for the previous/present Age of Pisces- but astronomy and astrology don’t agree, even among themselves.

Some, but not all astrologers say the Age of Aquarius is already here, that it began in 2012. To arrive at this, they are using the star Regulus, the heart of the Lion in the constellation of Leo as the marker of the ancient border between the constellations Leo and Cancer.

Regulus moved to within 30 degrees of the September equinox point in 2012, Working with the arithmetical model of constellations as calculated by Ptolemy in the second century AD, this places the border of the constellations Pisces and Aquarius at 150 degrees west of Regulus, or at the March equinox point. By this reckoning, the Age of Aquarius started in 2012.

Alternatively, according to the Belgian astronomer and mathematician, Jean Meeus, the sun at the March equinox passed from being in front of the constellation Aries to being in front of the constellation Pisces in 68 B.C.

This would mean that the March equinox will cross over into the constellation Aquarius in 2597 but once again, these are the astronomical, not astrological dates.

The Age of Aquarius denotes or predicts on the one hand the space age, the age of super-technology, and on the other, the age of the human collective, The Brotherhood of Man as opposed to the age of the One, and the individual as in the current Age of Pisces which is associated with the rise of the monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Space Technology 2021

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in sci-fi Aquarius on 21 December 2020 prefigured hi-tech space adventures to come during 2021.

Mars was having visitors -us.  Oh yes. Put the kettle on, Mars peeps. And we don’t suppose you’ve got any biccies? Sarnies? Cake? No? OK, OK, well, we know we weren’t invited, but you could have just…you know.

Well, never mind. For a month or so, Earth and Mars lined up in a way that made it viable to land a probe. Miss that window, and it would have meant waiting two years for the next opportunity.

The United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all launched in July 2020, all three due to arrive starting with NASA’a mission, scheduled to land Thursday 18 February 2021.

NASA landed its rover, Perseverance in the Jezero crater, an ancient river delta.

The NASA Rover via Wikimedia Commons

 China and the United Arab Emirates sent their own exploration missions to Mars…all due to arrive February 2021.

China sent the Tianwen-1 Rover. After sending a rover to the far side of the moon, this mission was called Tianwen-1, meaning ‘quest for heavenly truth,’ and aimed to be the first Mars mission to drop a landing platform, deploy a rover, and send a spacecraft into the planet’s orbit all at once. The rover has been equipped with a radar system that can detect underground pockets of water and will help China prepare for its own mission to return a sample from Mars to Earth in the 2030s.

The UAE sent The Hope Orbiter, the Arab world’s first mission to another planet, to study the Martian atmosphere.

Russia was planning to send a mission to Mars, as was The European Space Agency, but the Covid pandemic demanded a postponement.

The European Space Agency likewise had to delay the first flight of its new Ariane 6 launcher which was rescheduled to launch during the second half of 2021, and has since had to be rescheduled again for the second quarter of 2022.  

NASA is also working to return to the Moon – robotically. The Artemis Project is using commercial delivery services to send science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon twice per year, with the first such flight currently scheduled for a flight in 2024.

The Moon in The Space Age

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

Yes, it is exciting. But one feels conflicted. The Moon is a goddess, sacred, mysterious. Humanity needs its ancient mysteries for its happiness, health and sanity. It needs the siren lure of the ever inaccessible.

This need cannot be explained away nor measured except by an entire history of story-telling, which says we need stories, that we are hard-wired for this need, and that the effects of what we might call sacrilege of the natural world, will only become known by its despoiling, negation or denial.

We need a hill, a star, a shore and a moon to dream on. Free of our footprints.

Photo by Adrian Lang on Pexels.com

Let’s hope therefore, that humanity is successful in these explorations, but not too successful, for the sake of its ultimate sanity, which is not a co-factor of reason or science, but the immeasurable spirit, which is the divine spark for which there can be no calculation, no formula, no equation.

We need to beware hubris and behave with respect. If only for our own happiness. Hence, NASA’s Artemis Accords.

Will this be enough? here is a partial list of the artificial objects already now up there on the Moon.

The Artemis Accords

With numerous countries and private sector players conducting missions and operations in cislunar space, it’s critical to establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.

Via the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, heralding in a new era for space exploration and utilization.

While NASA is leading the Artemis program, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars.

The Artemis Accords will describe a shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.

UPDATE

Eight countries had signed up at the time of posting this blog last January 2021: The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the US . Other countries had not done so as yet for a variety of reasons, these including Russia, Germany, France and India.

Israel is apparently set to sign the Artemis Accords next week, 23 January 2022, and if they do so they will become the fifteenth signatory.

 “Mexico was the previous most recent signatory to the pact in December. Thirteen other countries that have embraced the Artemis Accords are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

READ HERE

The Moon Agreement of 1979 was an attempt to to prevent commercial exploitation of outer-space resources, but only a few states have ratified it – these have not included the US, China and Russia.

Read more HERE

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

As previously mentioned, in 2024, Artemis III will mark humanity’s return to the surface of the Moon – landing astronauts on the lunar South Pole, the next man and the first ever woman.

Meanwhile OSIRISREx is currently on a NASA asteroid-study and sample-return mission. The mission’s primary goal has been to obtain a sample of at least 60 g (2.1 oz) from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

It is due to land back on Earth in 2023 with its samples.

Bennu is carbonaceous and large enough to be potentially hazardous to Earth. (It won’t hit)

Russia was planning to return to the Moon in 2021, the first moon mission since 1976Russia’s Roscosmos space agency aims to launch its robotic Luna-25 moon landing craft in October 2021, and had drafted a deal with the U.S. space tourism company Space Adventures to fly the first two commercial two passengers to the International Space Station in 2021. NASA says it is not interested in private spaceflight, but 2021 saw the first tourists on board the ISS

Russia plans to launch a new space station of its own in 2025

So. The Age of Aquarius, what will it bring whenever it arrives? What is to be expected?

What is the story of humanity and what does that tell us? It took over 2 million years of human  history for the world’s population to reach 1 billion, and only another 200 years to reach 7 billion though it is slowing now.

‘The world population growth rate declined from 2.2% per year 50 years ago to 1.05% per year’. See SOURCE

Earth will be our only home. If alien visitors, ‘The Greys’ are here, they are travelling either way back in time, or way forward. Yes, the cosmos is unimaginably huge, but if they are here, are they us, either what we will become far, far in the future, or that we once were, back in the days of the ‘gods?’

Could they be from Mars, but not Mars as we see it now, but a far, far future Mars? If so, they are still us, in far future exile, and perhaps Mars will be greener by them, red and brown and green and blue. But ‘the words of the prophets’ are not only written on the subway walls.

“We’ll all miss her so”.

Astrology; the Aquarius Personality/ Archetype

Aquarius is a Fixed, Masculine Air Sign. The Tarot court card to watch for here is The King of Swords though the Queen may also represent an Aquarius born subject.

Of course there is no such thing in reality as THE Aquarius personality, and the same goes for all the zodiac sun signs. Your sun sign is an archetype, a keynote, but of course it is not and never could be the whole story.

The archetypal persona, male or female, is keenly observant, very sharp, clever, firm, fair, analytical logical, legalistic, brave, amusing and charming. They are often musically gifted, numerate, and very often work in teaching, or in Law, or music, medicine or dentistry in technical, forensic or surgical consultant roles. This is someone who uses logic and reason to cut through confusion. But they need plenty of personal space and fresh air, and if emotionally challenged, they are more likely to administer advice or medicine than take it themselves. They can be quietly ruthless.

Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Saturn, known to the ancients, planet of duty and conformity, but also Uranus, ‘discovered’ 1781, designated the planet of upheaval and rebellion, and therefore, as you might imagine, this is a sign potentially containing acute paradoxes.

There is on the one hand the authoritarian Aquarian, prone to dogma, and the freewheeling Aquarian archetype. Either way, Aquarius is radically independent in their thinking, often for good, but not always. Even a rebellion may become just another kind of dogma.

Aquarius is generally kindly, humane, refined, civilized and honourable in dealings. They set great store on friendship and loyalty, and need to belong and be of service, just as their symbol is the water-bearer or cup-bearer, a person pouring water for another.

This symbol can be interpreted to imply a destiny to serve others, but by the same token Aquarius may carry water to ‘cleanse’ the world of ‘errant’ thinking. Taken to extremes, Aquarius therefore represents a communal potential for fundamentalism.

 Aquarius excels at cerebral thinking, dealing in abstracts, but does not necessarily see the the individual in front of them. Where they make a false step it may be because they trust to their cerebral processes at the expense of their instinct.

Aquarius may be moody, prone to bouts of depression, or they may sparkle with the brilliance of diamonds, when their chart is warmed by the  courage warmth, honour and charisma of their opposite sign, their alter ego, or possibly their nemesis…the zodiac counterpart contained within Aquarius – Leo.

Famous Aquarius subjects

Galileo Galilei

Abraham Lincoln, Ferdinand Magellan. Galileo Galilei, Thomas Edison. Charles Darwin. Frederick Douglass, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Virginia Woolf, John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey, Shakira

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Till next time 🙂

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